New poem – For T.S.Eliot

For T.S. Eliot

 

Honestly,

Isn’t this every one of us,

As we so frequently are?

Somewhat lost in the landscape.

 

Seemingly little more

Than just another

Increasingly barren,

Kinetic bag of weary old skin.

Shrunken, shrivelled, afeared.

 

Though somehow,

Despite the privations

We insist heaping upon ourselves,

Still stubbornly Electric!

 

Miraculously

And spectacularly alive…

 

Though how often

Do we skulk

And hide away still?

Thereby only succeeding

In cloaking

This heavenly mechanism

Of ours

In the sticky veneer

Of day to day despond

And distraction.

Till we have lost all trace

Of valour,

Any tint of ruddy beauty

We can call our own.

 

To hell with that!

 

Better by far,

To remain exuberant,

To confront life

Head on.

And, in good faith,

Seek out still

The gentle miracles

Therein.

38 Comments

  1. You channelled your inner T.S. Eliot in this poem, Scott, which resonated with me, especially the feelings of being ‘somewhat lost in the landscape’ and being ‘miraculously and spectacularly alive’. These lines stand out for me:
    ‘This heavenly mechanism
    Of ours
    In the sticky veneer
    Of day to day despond
    And distraction.’

    • Janice Towndrow

      Really Great Scott. I loved your observations on life as a human being – and how sometimes it’s like we are just part of the scenery. Very enjoyable reading.

    • Another great one.. last paragraph the best. I relate because I’m getting older and not giving g into age or time.
      Beautiful work.. as ever.

  2. Eliot the dour and sour kept his brilliance cloaked, whereas Swinburne the rhymin’ bunnybairn loved to ride down banisters naked. Not hard to tell who was the superior poet, nor who had the better time for it.

  3. Scott, so many good lines, hard to pick a favorite. The task is always to avoid that “comfortable numb”ing in the words of Roger Waters. I love how you conclude with “Seek out still / The gentle miracles / Therein.”

  4. Scott, I am not as familiar with TS Eliot as I should be although I picked part of The Wasteland to learn for a recitation at age 10… So whilst I don’t see the references as I might, I find your poem to be a stirring exhortation to live life to the full (and not in an “inspirational quote” way!)

  5. Nolcha Fox

    I enjoyed reading your poem out loud, great fun on the tongue, especially these lines:

    Of day to day despond

    And distraction.

  6. Till we have lost all trace

    Of valour,

    Any tint of ruddy beauty

    We can call our own.

    To hell with that!

    Nicely Done!

  7. “Honestly, Isn’t this every one of us”
    “Kinetic bag of weary old skin.

    You nailed it and then the admonition “Seek out still The gentle miracles”
    Sometimes it seems too hard to do. But it is good advice.

  8. Truedessa

    One must always seek it’s the only way to find…Always know I will read something wonderful here…

    Seek out still

    The gentle miracles

    Therein.

  9. Humans are indeed wired to be hopeful, to want to survive… so yes, we confront life as best we can…and seek out the miracles…though they aren’t always there to find. I like your positive note and urging but am in despair given what is happening in the world with war and destruction and climate breakdown.

  10. Beautiful!! I love “Kinetic bag of weary old skin” and “cloaking This heavenly mechanism Of ours In the sticky veneer Of day to day despond And distraction.” So true and Yes seek out “The gentle miracles” wow

  11. Yes, the exuberance comes and goes as does the skulk and sulk. I like how it comes full circle.

  12. Sharing your hopes, Scott ! Reading the lines ‘day to day despond/and distraction’ one feels the problem very well. Then the poetic voice moves on to healing !! Thus, I feel, the path forward finds us……

  13. “Still stubbornly Electric!

    Miraculously
    And spectacularly alive…”

    I’m going to tattoo these lines in the inside of my heart. The same goes for the closing stanza. They’ll make perfect war cries for those days when “spectacularly alive” feels like a myth.

  14. Laura Bailey

    Scott, Debating within yourself and without limits of life and death.
    Most profound.
    Yes, Life is hard but good.
    Living it is our necessary object.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  15. Helen

    I must say this [beautifully[ composed poem strikes a chord, and profoundly. As I age my ‘moving forward, never jelling’ philosophy is how I try to live life. I know just how fleeting it is. Cheers!

  16. Well written Scott, enjoyed the perspective. ✌

  17. Yes Scott! Shame and hiding fulfills nothing! Be you!

  18. Dwight L. Roth

    Yes, seize the day for sure!

  19. Yes and amen, Scott, to every bit of this! Here’s to remaining “stubbornly electric” (I like the way you put that)! I love this exuberant poem with that touch of tenderness at the end. So good to read you again!

  20. Oh, how I love your up-beat conclusion! (Both exuberant and gentle; *smile*.)

    Yes, Eliot’s mood could get very dour and dreary at times – as I guess is true of us all. I prefer his closing section of Ash Wednesday, particularly these lines in similar mood to your own conclusion above:

    From the wide window towards the granite shore
    The white sails still fly seaward, seaward flying
    Unbroken wings

    And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices
    In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices
    And the weak spirit quickens to rebel
    For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell
    Quickens to recover
    The cry of quail and the whirling plover

  21. I really like your ending verse. Tells it like it should be for me.
    ..

  22. JT Smith

    I have excavated ruins of our modern civilization with poetry. The Wasteland is an appropriate metaphor. We rarely preserve it. It’s a golden dream. Simplicity expresses the most amount of wide emotions. It seems as though the mundane and the profound are semi-romantic partners. I wish I could praise all this through. I will have to re-listen more. I miss the vitriol and burn in an aging, mature philosopher king like yourself. It’s what lies hidden that is the root of inspiration. I am certain one day the Muse will thrust her almighty sword and anoint the holy ones.

    • Yes . . .

      Better by far,
      To remain exuberant,
      To confront life
      Head on.
      And, in good faith,
      Seek out still
      The gentle miracles
      Therein.

      Good advice for those who have the choice.

  23. Confronting life is daunting but as you said there are little miracles within that no one can take away.

  24. Perhaps life is a secret miracle that does slowly reveal itself to us. Thought provoking poem!

  25. Whilst I defy the idea of being an “increasingly barren / kinetic bag of weary old skin” I enjoyed the wisdom and insight in your poem and its hopeful end 🙂

  26. “Kinetic bag of weary old skin … Still stubbornly Electric!” — I can’t help but feel that Eliot would be terribly pleased with this imagery that riffs off his own poetry of anxieties and desires. The note of hope at the very last is gracefully done.

  27. Eliot was one of my first inspirations when it came to writing poetry. This piece, with its call to ‘barrenness’ and finding

    Though somehow,

    Despite the privations

    We insist heaping upon ourselves,

    Still stubbornly Electric!

    Miraculously

    And spectacularly alive…

    Perfectly encapsulates the dichotomy between despair and hopefulness that Eliot captured so long ago.

  28. This is beautiful. Powerful lines as you gently help us gather thoughts to the Eliotic likeliness you have brought out within your creativity towards a picture of “The gentle miracles Therein.”

  29. Jeffrey Patrick Bennett

    Sweet wisdom, Scott. You manage quite gracefully to highlight the grand vistas without adding the weight of insinuation, the baggage of cardinal direction. It’s as if you would guide not the weary body, rather the wandering soul to choose its course. This for me arrives as a delicious reminder of life’s electric medium – not a linear launch, paddle, and strike ground sort of mastication, but a series of semi-permeable events we string together for the pure exuberance and unpredictable reward inherent in discovery.

    Here is the call of liberty to union, and an invitation to make possibility personal. Beautiful work, Scott.

    Thank you.

    • scotthastie

      Scott says:

      I appreciate this comment very much – you really get what I was driving for here Jeffrey – so pleased you saw it all so clearly.

  30. Sara McNulty

    “Seek out still

    The gentle miracles

    Therein.”

    And that is what life is about. Beautiful poem, Scott!

  31. This is something – a very powerful echo of our lives. Loved it .

    Congratulations

  32. Pushkar Bisht

    I am a big fan of T.S. Eliot. Thank you for reminding me of “Wasteland”.

  33. Shari Roberts

    So, I’ve just read this several times as I always do and I’m once again amazed at the change of tone from the last poem. Yet, as you always do, perfectly hit the mark. I love it particularly, “To hell with that. Better by far, to remain exuberant, to confront life head on, and in good faith, seek out still the gentle miracles therein.” AMEN!!! It certainly is!

    You’re a beautiful, insightful and special talent dear man.

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